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The United Kingdom just revealed the details of an ambitious new transportation project that effectively connects an entire highway to the internet. A 50-mile stretch of the busy A14 that runs between Felixstowe and Birmingham will soon be outfitted with sensors that will monitor traffic by sending signals to mobile devices in moving cars. In effect, it turns the highway into a smart road, one with greater capabilities than just monitoring traffic. Experts think that this type of technology could form the foundation of a communications system for self-driving cars.

The Brits obviously aren’t the only ones thinking of tricking out the infrastructure to make driving a little smarter. Ann Arbor, Michigan is hosting a massive experiment right now involving nearly 3,000 cars that have been equipped with special wireless communication devices that enable them to communicate with each other and with devices embedded at intersections and on roadways. The idea is that a steady stream of data flowing back and forth between vehicles, the highway, and other vehicles will not only make driving safer but also more efficient.

Posted via a mobile Android device.

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